Paedophile created fake Facebook profile to lure victim
A PAEDOPHILE set up a fake Facebook account pretending to be a rich, trendy young woman to trick a teenager into sending sexually explicit images of herself.
When the 15-year-old became suspicious of the fictitious ‘Millie Rose’, Ben Kesterton blackmailed the girl and threatened to expose the pornographic pictures – causing her to attempt suicide.
Kesterton, of Granville Street, Cheltenham, was jailed for 16 months today after he admitted four charges of making indecent photographs of a child and a further three counts of distributing the images.
Prosecutor Julian Kesner said the 35-year-old, who lives with his mum, pretended that fictitious 20-year-old Millie’s parents lived in Chelsea, while she was from Cornwall and posted pictures of her on holiday, in apartments, in cars and on weekend breaks,
He even made up online friends for ‘Millie’ and posted conversations between them to trick the girl.
Gloucester Crown Court heard the girl was just aged 12 and exploring her sexuality when they first met online in May 2010.
Some 18 months later, the teenager became suspicious and Kesterton started e-mailing her from an address named ‘I like you a lot’, but when she did not respond he started sending her the pornographic images she had previously sent to him.
Mr Kesner said the girl was told in December 2012 if she did not continue contact with him, he would publish the pictures.
Faced with the threats she tried to take an overdose in January 2012, but was unsuccessful.
Recorder Ben Browne described it as a “sophisticated web” and said he believed the threats were blackmail, although he was not charged with the offence.
He said: “You wished to have online sexual conduct with a young girl, or girls, for your own sexual gratification and you therefore set up the Facebook account of Millie Rose, an entirely fictitious character that you led people to believe lived a glamorous lifestyle with money.
“When she became suspicious and stopped communication you engaged in a campaign of blackmail, although it is not charged as such, you set out to threaten her into continuing communication with you.
“The trauma that such threats would produce would be perfectly obvious to you as they would to any person.
“The result, that she would attempt suicide, is all your doing.
“Anyone who abused the internet to the extent and sophistication you have has to have an immediate custodial sentence.”
Defending Joe Maloney told the court Kesterton had no previous convictions and had stop his behaviour since his first arrest in September last year.
In March he made full admissions to the police.
Mr Maloney said it had been a “wake up call” for his client, who had expressed remorse for what he had done and the consequences.
Kesterton was also ordered to sign the sexual offenders register for 10 years and will be subjected to a sexual offenders prevention order until further notice.